In the Gulf Coast the fight continues to contain the oil gushing into the ocean from a blown well. Today, an attempt was made to drop a forty foot, one hundred ton “Giant Box” onto the top of the ruptured well on the Gulf floor. Despite this, oil continues to gush into the Gulf at an alarming rate as oil continues reaching land.
At first glance it appears as if today’s undertaking may have been a success:
Underwater robots guided the 40-foot-tall box into place. Now that the contraption is on the seafloor, workers will need at least 12 hours to let it settle and make sure it’s stable before the robots can hook up a pipe and hose that will funnel the oil up to a tanker.
However, oil continues to leak into the Gulf and it appears as if it will for the foreseeable future:
By Sunday, the box the size of a house could be capturing up to 85 percent of the oil. So far about 3 million gallons have leaked in an environmental crisis that has been unfolding since a deepwater drilling platform exploded April 20, sending toxic oil toward a shoreline of marshes, shipping channels, fishing grounds and beaches. Eleven workers were killed in the accident.
The task became increasingly urgent as toxic oil crept deeper into the bays and marshes of the Mississippi Delta.
Even more disturbing is that despite the successes today there are still serious questions and concerns with the containment approach:
There are still untold risks and unknowns with the containment box: The approach has never been tried at such depths, where the water pressure is enough to crush a submarine, and any wrong move could damage the leaking pipe and make the problem worse. The seafloor is pitch black and the water murky, though lights on the robots illuminate the area where they are working.
And in the recurrent theme of this diary, oil still spills into the Gulf:
The well has been spewing about 200,000 gallons a day in the nation’s biggest oil spill since the nearly 11 million gallons lost in the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska in 1989.
Which makes you wonder one thing. Since oil has been coming to shore and continues to, I wonder if Bobby Jindall will want to invite Sarah Palin down for a “Drill Baby Drill” rally??:
At Hopedale, a fishing community in St. Bernard Parish, La., that has been a staging area for efforts to protect inlets and bayous, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stepped out of a helicopter and held aloft a tennis ball-size hunk of tarry oil he said a fisherman had retrieved near the mouth of the Mississippi River.
But not for all the Palin, Hannity, and Limbaugh types to worry. Despite the spill, their version of uncaring capitalism is alive and well. You see, the only folks who will profit from this spill as countless creatures die and communities suffer and whither?? BP:
BP plans to sell the petroleum it recovers after separating out the large amounts of natural gas and seawater — something that industry experts said should not present much of a problem.
“That’s something they do for every oil well,” said Don Van Nieuwenhuise, director of petroleum geoscience programs at the University of Houston. “They’ll refine it and crack it and everything, and by the time it gets in your gas tank, you’ll never even know it was in the water.”
Gee, thanks. That makes me feel so much better. They will clean the seawater out of my gas before they charge me $4.00 a gallon for it. Thanks guys!!
The truth may even be worse in this catastrophe. There is still a chance of this oil reaching the Atlantic and there is no guarantees a this point that the oil will be slowed down by Sunday and even if it is, 15% of up to 250,000 gallons a day will still be spilling into the Gulf.
One really begins to wonder just how much of the truth has come out about the scope and complexity of this disaster: